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FGUS71 KCAR 092206
ESFCAR
MEC003-009-019-021-029-130000-

WINTER/SPRING FLOOD POTENTIAL OUTLOOK
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE CARIBOU ME
506 PM EST THU JAN 9 2020

...SPRING FLOOD POTENTIAL OUTLOOK FOR NORTHERN... CENTRAL...AND 
DOWNEAST MAINE...

THIS IS THE FIRST WINTER/SPRING FLOOD POTENTIAL OUTLOOK FOR 2020,
ISSUED BY THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN CARIBOU, MAINE. THIS 
OUTLOOK IS FOR NORTHERN, CENTRAL, AND DOWNEAST MAINE FOR THE 
TWO-WEEK PERIOD OF JANUARY 9TH TO JANUARY 23RD, 2019.

THE FLOOD POTENTIAL FOR OPEN WATER FLOODING AND FLOODING DUE TO 
ICE JAMS IS NEAR NORMAL FOR THIS TIME OF YEAR.

...CLIMATOLOGICAL GUIDANCE...

NOVEMBER 2019 CAME IN WELL BELOW NORMAL FOR TEMPERATURES AND 
ABOVE NORMAL FOR SNOWFALL. A SERIES OF SNOW STORMS AFFECTED THE
REGION DURING THE MONTH. THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN CARIBOU 
RECORDED 23 INCHES FOR THE MONTH, WHICH WAS 10.5 INCHES ABOVE 
NORMAL. BANGOR RECORDED 4.7 INCHES OF SNOWFALL, WHICH WAS 2.4
INCHES ABOVE NORMAL FOR NOVEMBER. DECEMBER 2019 FOLLOWED WITH A
WARMING TREND AND CAME IN ABOVE NORMAL FOR TEMPERATURES AND BELOW
NORMAL FOR SNOWFALL. A SERIES OF RAIN EVENTS EARLY IN THE MONTH 
REDUCED THE SNOWPACK SIGNIFICANTLY ACROSS NORTHERN AND CENTRAL 
AREAS WHILE THE DOWNEAST REGION LOST ALL ITS SNOW. THIS RAINFALL 
LED TO RISES ON RIVERS AND STREAMS AND ALLOWED FOR ICE TO BREAK UP
ON THE RIVERS. TEMPERATURES COOLED DOWN BY THE 3RD AND 4TH WEEK OF
THE MONTH WITH A FEW SNOW EVENTS. THIS COLDER WEATHER ALSO ALLOWED
FOR ICE TO REFORM ON THE RIVERS AND STREAMS, ESPECIALLY ACROSS THE
NORTHERN RIVERS. 

JANUARY 2020 STARTED OUT ABOVE NORMAL WITH A SERIES OF WEATHER 
EVENTS WHICH BROUGHT SOME LIGHT SNOWFALL TO THE REGION.
TEMPERATURES FOR THE FIRST WEEK OF JANUARY HAVE AVERAGED ABOVE
NORMAL ACROSS THE REGION. 

A FAIRLY ACTIVE WEATHER PATTERN LOOKS TO BE IN STORE FOR THE
REGION OVER THE NEXT 5 TO 10 DAYS WITH A SERIES OF WEATHER SYSTEMS
TO AFFECT THE REGION. A SIGNIFICANT STORM SYSTEM IS FORECAST TO
AFFECT THE REGION THIS COMING WEEKEND WITH RAIN CHANGING TO MIXED
PRECIPITATION AND SNOW. ANOTHER SYSTEM A WEATHER SYSTEM THAT 
COULD AFFECT THE REGION BY MID TO LATE WEEK THAT COULD BRING 
ANOTHER ROUND OF MIXED PRECIPITATION TO THE REGION. 

THE OFFICIAL NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE 6 TO 14 DAY OUTLOOK IS 
CALLING FOR NEAR NORMAL TEMPERATURES AND NORMAL TO SLIGHTLY ABOVE
NORMAL PRECIPITATION.

...OBSERVED SNOW DEPTH AND WATER EQUIVALENTS...

SNOW DEPTHS RANGED FROM 10 TO 17 INCHES ACROSS NORTHERN AND 
NORTHWEST MAINE, WHILE ACROSS THE MAINE CENTRAL HIGHLANDS, SNOW 
DEPTHS RANGED FROM 5 TO 9 INCHES. THE DOWNEAST REGION INCLUDING 
THE COAST RECORDED 2 TO 5 INCHES OF SNOW DEPTH. SNOW DEPTHS WERE 
BELOW NORMAL FOR EARLY JANUARY.

THE SNOW WATER EQUIVALENT, OR THE AMOUNT OF WATER CONTAINED IN 
THE SNOWPACK IS THE HIGHEST ACROSS NORTHERN AND CENTRAL AREAS 
WITH 2 TO 4 INCHES OF WATER BEING RECORDED. ACROSS THE MAINE 
CENTRAL HIGHLANDS TO THE DOWNEAST REGION, 1 TO 3 INCHES OF WATER 
WAS COMMON IN THE SNOWPACK. 

THE SNOW WATER EQUIVALENT IS NEAR NORMAL FOR THIS TIME OF YEAR,
WITH THE EXCEPTION OF THE DOWNEAST REGION, AS SNOW WATER 
EQUIVALENTS WERE BELOW NORMAL.

...SOIL MOISTURE AND WATER SUPPLY CONDITIONS...

SOIL MOISTURE WAS NEAR NORMAL ACROSS NORTHERN AND CENTRAL AREAS, 
WHILE THE DOWNEAST REGION INCLUDING THE COAST, SOIL MOISTURE WAS 
ABOVE NORMAL. THE LATEST PALMER DROUGHT SEVERITY INDEX, WHICH 
MEASURES SOIL MOISTURE IN THE LONGER TERM, WAS SHOWING NEAR NORMAL
CONDITIONS.

LOOKING AT THE GROUNDWATER LEVELS, COURTESY OF THE USGS, NEAR 
NORMAL WITH THE EXCEPTION OF THE BANGOR AND INTERIOR DOWNEAST 
REGION, AS LEVELS WERE ABOVE NORMAL. 

...RIVER AND ICE CONDITIONS...

RIVER FLOWS WERE NEAR NORMAL FOR THIS TIME OF YEAR FOR A MAJORITY
OF THE REGION. THE EXCEPTION TO THIS WAS ACROSS WASHINGTON COUNTY
ALONG THE ST. CROIX RIVER BASIN, WHERE FLOWS WERE ABOVE NORMAL.

THE VERY COLD TEMPERATURES FROM NOVEMBER INTO THE FIRST WEEK OF 
DECEMBER ALLOWED ICE TO FORM EARLY ON THE RIVERS AND THICKEN UP
SOME. THE GOOD SNOWPACK THAT SET UP IN NOVEMBER HELPED TO KEEP THE
ICE FROM THICKENING UP MORE. THE WARMUP THAT OCCURRED DURING THE
14TH AND 15TH ALLOWED ICE TO BREAK UP WITH A SUBSTANTIAL 
REDUCTION IN THE SNOWPACK. AS A MATTER OF FACT, MUCH OF THE ICE
ACROSS THE PENOBSCOT RIVER, ESPECIALLY SOUTH OF GRINDSTONE,
FLUSHED OUT. ICE ALSO FLUSHED OUT ALONG THE ST. CROIX RIVE BASIN.
COLDER AIR FOLLOWING AFTER THE 15TH, ALLOWED THE ICE ACROSS THE 
NORTHERN MAINE RIVERS TO FREEZE BACK UP. THIS LEAD TO A ICE 
BUNCHING UP ON ST. JOHN RIVER NEAR DICKEY. AN ICE JAM DEVELOPED ON
THE AROOSTOOK RIVER IN FORT FAIRFIELD. THIS ICE JAM IS ABOUT 3 
MILES IN LENGTH. THERE WAS SOME OPEN WATER NOTED ALONG THIS 
STRETCH OF THE RIVER TOWARD THE CARIBOU AREA, AND IN THE TOWN OF 
ASHLAND. SOME OPEN WATER WAS ALSO NOTED ALONG THE ST. JOHN RIVER 
SOUTH OF FORT KENT TO MADAWASKA. ICE REFORMED ON THE PISCATAQUIS, 
PENOBSCOT AND ST. CROIX RIVERS. THERE WAS ALSO OPEN WATER NOTED ON
THESE RIVERS.

ICE COVERAGE AND THICKNESSES WERE BELOW NORMAL FOR EARLY JANUARY.

...IN CONCLUSION...

BASED ON THE ABOVE INFORMATION, THE FLOOD POTENTIAL FOR OPEN WATER
FLOODING IS NEAR NORMAL ACROSS THE REGION AT THIS TIME. THE THREAT
FOR ICE JAM FLOODING IS NEAR NORMAL FOR EARLY JANUARY, ESPECIALLY
ACROSS THE NORTHERN RIVERS.

IT IS IMPORTANT TO REMEMBER THAT A HEAVY RAINFALL EVENT ALONG 
WITH MILD TEMPERATURES CAN LEAD TO AN INCREASED POTENTIAL FOR 
FLOODING WITH SNOWMELT AND RUNOFF. ICE BREAKING UP AND JAMMING CAN
ELEVATE THE THREAT FOR FLOODING IN A SHORT PERIOD OF TIME. 

THE NEXT WINTER/SPRING FLOOD OUTLOOK WILL BE ISSUED ON THURSDAY, JANUARY
23RD.


$$

HEWITT

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